The Happy Prince

The Happy Prince : A Tale by Oscar Wilde

4.28 (71 ratings by Goodreads)
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Shortlisted for the 'Best book for children 5-8 years old' - Made for Mums Awards 2018

In a town where a lot of poor people suffer and where there are a lot of miseries, a swallow who was left behind after his flock flew off to Egypt for the winter, meets the statue of the late 'Happy Prince', who in reality has never experienced true sorrow, for he lived in a palace where sorrow isn't allowed to enter. Viewing various scenes of people suffering in poverty from his tall monument, the Happy Prince asks the swallow to take the ruby from his hilt, the sapphires from his eyes, and the golden leaf covering his body to give to the poor. As the winter comes and the Happy Prince is stripped of all of his beauty, his lead heart breaks when the swallow dies as a result of his selfless deeds and severe cold. The statue is then brought down from the pillar and melted in a furnace leaving behind the broken heart and the dead swallow and they are thrown in a dust heap. These are taken up to heaven by an angel that has deemed them the two most precious things in the city. This is affirmed by God and they live forever in his city of gold and garden of paradise.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 48 pages
  • 245 x 280 x 12.7mm | 700g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Illustrated in colour throughout
  • 0500651116
  • 9780500651117
  • 77,541

Review quote

'Delicious, alternately panoramic and intimate ... full of the kind of detail that keen little eyes love' - Littlest Librarian 'A thing of beauty ... Maisie Paradise Shearring's illustrations [...] are extraordinary' - Sunday Times 'There is a kind of magic realism within the images as we are transported through time and space, and across a cold and unfeeling city' - Association of Illustrators
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About Oscar Wilde

Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900) was an Irish playwright, novelist, essayist, and poet. He is known for his acclaimed works including The Picture of Dorian Gray and The Importance of Being Earnest as well as his brilliant wit, flamboyant style and infamous imprisonment for homosexuality. Maisie Paradise Shearring is an acclaimed illustrator from Hull. In 2015 she won the International Award for Illustration at Bologna Children's Book Fair. Thames & Hudson recently published her interpretation of Oscar Wilde's classic story, The Happy Prince.
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Rating details

71 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 49% (35)
4 31% (22)
3 18% (13)
2 1% (1)
1 0% (0)
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